Picking the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Girdwood Alaska
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Girdwood Alaska. But once you have decided on the kind of program you would like to work toward, just how do you go about choosing a college that will offer the proper training to help you realize your career goals? Naturally the college you select must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt start by looking for colleges that are close to your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other issues that you need to investigate before making your ultimate choice. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are important factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online training program will also be a part of your search process. We will deal with these and other qualifications that you may want to include in your vetting process when picking the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Girdwood AK
As with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly needed for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the job opportunities available in Girdwood AK. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available more options for such positions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional two years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific facet of criminal justice. In addition to the options provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for students interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered as well. Typically taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for obtaining any of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specializations to select from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after viewing countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation shows. Or maybe you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you need to pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Choosing a school and program that specializes in that area would naturally be the best decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be best to investigate all of the degree alternatives offered from the numerous universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Girdwood AK area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the college you have decided on, research the degree program you are interested in along with the school. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first before selecting a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Schools
Many students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their region, or they might just prefer the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of colleges located within the USA that offer online degree programs much like those offered on campus. And for many Girdwood AK students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges may make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are frequently lower in cost than traditional options. Tuition can be cheaper and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make certain, as with any college you are considering, that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can learn in this kind of independent environment, then earning your degree online might be the best alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you intend to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Girdwood AK area schools and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are a large number of colleges to select from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing schools. Naturally cost is a significant consideration and you will need to enroll in a program that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already discussed a few others also, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may wish to ask the schools you are examining before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. Among the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through a rigorous screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to verify that the program and college you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it will also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Girdwood AK employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As previously mentioned, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is significant as well. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the field with no relevant prior employment history. Without any prior experience, Girdwood AK employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can get college reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other factors contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Girdwood AK schools you are reviewing. A low percentage may be an indicator that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the course of study. It’s also imperative that the colleges have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help validate that the college has a good reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a sizable network of contacts to help students obtain jobs after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we touched on at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will most likely look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or possibly board on campus, the school you pick will have to be within driving distance of your Girdwood AK home. Naturally attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to go to a college not in your resident state, you may be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Large classes provide little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Talk to some of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Alaska criminal justice field.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Girdwood AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Girdwood AK?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Girdwood AK, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Girdwood area where your school campus will be located.
Girdwood is a resort town within the southern extent of the Municipality of Anchorage in the state of Alaska. Located near the end of the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, Girdwood lies in a valley in the southwestern Chugach Mountains, surrounded by seven glaciers feeding into a number of creeks, which either converge within the valley or empty directly into the arm. Girdwood is typically accessed by the Seward Highway (Milepost 90), with the main line of the Alaska Railroad paralleling the highway. By road distance, most of the community lies within 35 to 40 miles (56 to 64 km) of downtown Anchorage. According to 2014 estimates, a little under 2,000 people live in the valley.
Founded as a community to supply miners during the Turnagain Arm gold rushes of the 1890s, Girdwood was mostly a small, quiet place until the middle of the 20th century. Two events drastically altered that. The first was the establishment of Alyeska Resort along the slopes of Mount Alyeska, which became an international destination coincidental with Anchorage's civic promotion of itself as "The Air Crossroads of the World". The second was the 1964 earthquake, which devastated the original townsite located directly along the arm. Following the earthquake, most of the town moved further up the valley to a new townsite, though a few homes remained and a strip mall was later constructed along the Seward Highway. Historically dominated in the years since the resort's opening by seasonally-occupied vacation homes and seasonal activity at the resort, the opening of the Alyeska Prince Hotel during the 1990s has shifted the resort, and hence Girdwood as a whole, more towards year-round activity and a year-round economy. This has led to periodic debates about community growth and affordability of housing for resort workers, many of whom over the years have resorted to camping illegally on public lands.
Girdwood still revolves heavily around seasonal activity, with skiing and snowboarding at Alyeska Resort bringing visitors and their money into the community. Summer activities are also popular, which include hiking, fishing and rafting. The Girdwood Forest Fair, held every July, is the community's most significant visitor attraction apart from resort-related activities. Girdwood is located within the northernmost extent of rain forest on Earth, and also serves as the closest point of access to Chugach National Forest from Anchorage proper.
Pick the Ideal Criminal Justice School near Girdwood AK
Making certain that you pick the right criminal justice college near Girdwood AK is essential to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers respect which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s imperative that the college and degree program you choose both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make certain that the college has a job placement program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Accredited Online Colleges For Criminal Justice. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are looking at in order to narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will receive the proper training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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